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View Full Version : Is 4 rounds of 00 buck enough for home defense?


Inverness11
January 23, 2008, 05:37 PM
I'm considering getting an 18" barrel for my stock 870 express to use for home defense. This gun has a 4+1 capacity and the tube has to be permanently modified to add an extension, which is something I don't want to do.

Is four rounds of buckshot adequate for home defense situations? I want to think so, but it just makes me nervous.

Also, where is the ideal place to store a home defense shotgun for the perfect balance of safety and accessibility?

Thanks all!

JBriggs
January 23, 2008, 05:41 PM
I think so because in most such encounters there will be only a few shots fired. If you have too many rounds, say 8, the DA will think you are a Rambo type. believe me on this b/c I used to be a prosecutor and saw it happen regularly.

Slopemeno
January 23, 2008, 06:15 PM
Training is important here. If you spend some quality time training to HIT on the first two, reload two, and so on, you'll be fine. A sidesaddle carrier of four or five rounds wouldnt hurt.

Think of all the cops who took care of the bad guys armed with that basic setup. The three shotgun shootings I've been able to study (read the actual police report or talked to the guys who were there) one shot dusted the bad guy, from contact to about 15 yards. Its a very effective weapon in close.

10-96
January 23, 2008, 06:53 PM
Where is the best place to store?

There's WAY too much we don't know to offer any suggestions to ya. How many kids, neices, nephews, etc? You live in a house, apt, mobile home, something else? Do you have any regularly visiting friends or family that could not be 100% trusted with the SG left hidden but unsecure?

YukonKid
January 23, 2008, 07:23 PM
it should be. its hard to miss with a shotgun. Although in the dark and panicking it would be more difficult. I think any threat can be easly disposed of with one shot. The more you shoot the more you answer for in court. Dont go blasting all around especially if you have a family or apartment.

zoomie
January 23, 2008, 07:34 PM
4 should be more than enough. In case it's not, these are cheap insurance...

http://www.unclemikes.com/products/buttstock_shell_holders.html
http://www.wilsoncombat.com/sa_side_saddle.asp

And most importantly in this situation...
http://www.thunderranchinc.com/images/Store/Supplied1207/TshirtIfYoureNotShootin.jpg

Inverness11
January 23, 2008, 07:50 PM
YukonKid: its hard to miss with a shotgun.

I do know that the spread of buckshot is nearly negligible at defensive ranges, which is why I try to aim a shotgun with all the precision of a rifle.

As far as storage, I live in an apartment-no kids. I plan to keep it in the bedroom. My thoughts are:

1. In the safe
Painfully slow access, but less likely to come home and find myself looking down the bore and safe from kids.

2. Hung above the closet door (inside the closet)
Easier access but still takes a little while to get to it, out of reach of kids, maybe not an obvious place for a burgular but not locked up either.

3. Leaning in the corner by the bed
Quick access, right where a bad guy can find it if I'm not there, right where a kid can get it if I'm not there (unlikely situation though)

4. Under bed
Quick access, easy access to kids and BGs too (obvious hiding spot), too much dust, could get inadvertently blocked if stuff gets stored under the bed

Anything else?

New_Pollution1086
January 23, 2008, 08:57 PM
underneth mattres, get one of those neoprene socks for it, that will keep the dust off in any situation.
hope that helps.

T

Kreyzhorse
January 23, 2008, 09:46 PM
I hope 4 rounds is plenty. 3 rounds of 3" 000 buck are currently riding in my Mossberg 500. Had it out over the weekend exploring a bump in the night. Still have the 28" barrel on it from fall turkey season...... Man that is a long barrel to be lugging around the house in a home defense situation.

From a storage situation, if there are no kids in the house, under bed is a perfect place for it to live.

teeroux
January 23, 2008, 10:18 PM
no way your shotty needs a mag extention to hold 6 rounds loaded also it needs a side saddle on the receiver and pistol butstock.

you will also need a tactical light mouted to it along with a pisto grip and laser

ooh yeah dont forget the ghost ring night sights better yet your light and night sights may break you should invest in night vision googles and an infared iluminator for your shotgun.:D

just kiddin 4 rounds is fine

jrothWA
January 23, 2008, 11:46 PM
but use a butt-stock carrier for extras.
Use snap-caps to practice loading the tube and chamber.
Use the security cabinet, but leave the key in the lock when going to bed.
Keep a red-lens flashlight on your nighttable.
Practice, practice.practice!

Nnobby45
January 23, 2008, 11:59 PM
no way your shotty needs a mag extention to hold 6 rounds loaded also it needs a side saddle on the receiver and pistol butstock.


I have a 6 round (+2) mag. extension because my 870 is perpetually magazine loaded with empty chamber. It's always downloaded by one or two to prevent stress on the mag. spring. If you load your 4 rd. tube full, your spring is twice as compressed as mine.

Don't want to get in an argument over how much the compressed spring will weaken over time, but that's how I do it. With a little warning (no guarantee), it can be topped off with 6 rds.:cool:

Wildalaska
January 24, 2008, 12:07 AM
s four rounds of buckshot adequate for home defense situations? I want to think so, but it just makes me nervous.

There are numerous reports on the net of hordes of armed crimianls randomly driving through suburbia doing home invasions. When you take into account the numerous reports of criminals taking 4 shots of magnum 00 buck to the face and still fighting on, I would suggest nothing less than a half dozen or so 10 gauges in varios spots in your house. Make sure you always carry a Glock 21 with 5 reloads too. They don't rust in the bathtub:)

WildisthisajokethreadandhaveyouhuggedyourMosberg590todayAlaska TM

ShootemDown
January 24, 2008, 03:04 AM
OK seriously now. your situation can have no rounds and you can just butt stroke the BG to submission.

it all depends on how dangerous your neighborhood is, who wants you dead, how many people knows what you have in your house is worth taking...

Double Naught Spy
January 24, 2008, 07:45 AM
its hard to miss with a shotgun.

And yet, people manage to miss all the time. I have watched folks in shotgun classes miss head shots at 15 feet on a stationary paper target. Shots were fired by the FBI and by the bad guys in the Miami FBI shootout that failed to connect with the opposition at very close ranges.

Is four rounds enough? Of course, unless it isn't and if it isn't and you just have four, then you may be screwed.

625
January 24, 2008, 10:10 AM
Wildisthisajokethread

You are a joke. Go away troll. You add nothing to this thread.

To the OP,
My SD shotgun holds 5 and I feel ok. I'd rather have 4 rounds of buckshot than 17 rounds of 9mm. And yes, you would be better off with a shorter barrel for a SD shotty.

Laz
January 24, 2008, 12:16 PM
Man, Wild Alaska often posts with a sense of humor (sometimes a skewed sense of humor, true :)) but I've read enough of his posts to not think he is a troll. Seems a little harsh. Anyway, to the post, I think 4+1 is enough. I like the balance, feel and (not important, but) look of the 4+1 870 over the extended tube versions, even though I have both. I keep 3 in the magazine, empty chamber, hammer down, and five on the buttstock. Depends on the world you live in. If there were riots in the streets, I would switch to an extended tube weapon as primary and fully load the tube.

Wildalaska
January 24, 2008, 01:29 PM
You are a joke. Go away troll. You add nothing to this thread.

O yes sir! Right away sir :)

LOL

WildhaveyouhuggedyouPPShtodayAlaska ™

This thread is still amusing:D

DrBart2
January 24, 2008, 01:50 PM
I am new to these forums, so forgive me if this has already been addressed. Since he lives in an apartment, shouldn't he be concerned with the buck shot going through the walls into someone else's apt.? In my home I keep a Mossberg 930 by my bed at night loaded with a mix. The first two rounds are birdshot then the next three are 00 buck. The distances I would be shooting in my home are short, but I figure that if I have to shoot more than the first two rounds then a real gun battle is happening and I need better penetration! Thats where the buck shot comes in. As to more than four rounds, I would think that would be enough as long as you have extras on a sling for an emergency reload. Putting four rounds of birdshot or whatever (even if you missed) out of your barrel would normally send the bad guys running the other way! I keep my guns locked in a safe when I am not home.

625
January 24, 2008, 02:10 PM
shouldn't he be concerned with the buck shot going through the walls

That's a good point, but it depends on the apartment building. I've lived in old buildings that had "paper thin" walls and I've lived in newer buildings that had concrete walls and ceilings.

Bird shot is a topic that is best discussed in another thread, IMO. Plenty of them here.

craigcolorado
January 24, 2008, 09:11 PM
I have a Remington 870 with a 10 round extension mag....28inch barrel...Military grade 00 Buck Shot. Yeah...it's not 18 inches...but I would tell you to take this gun out and practice with it. Why not? Get use to this firearm. If you bought a pistol...wouldn't you practice with it? Take the gun out and burn a few rounds thru it on a regular basis. Buy ammo that will best work for your requirements. Yes...you should be concerned about stray projectiles. Remember this when buying ammo and use "THAT" ammo when you practice.

I keep my 870 loaded in the magazine only...that gives me 10 shots to take care of two legged varmints. A lot of fire power!! A lot of confidence!

Good Luck!

rem870hunter
January 24, 2008, 09:25 PM
try #1 or 0 buckshot. and maybe instead of getting an 18" cyl. bore barrel get a 20" rifle sighted slug barrel with the imp. cyl. choke. if its only going to be for a house gun. sight in with slugs at 25 yards and pattern it at 20-25 yards at the most with the buckshot.

skeeter1
January 24, 2008, 10:17 PM
"Is four rounds of buckshot adequate for home defense situations? I want to think so, but it just makes me nervous. "

Relax, sit down and have a cold beer. Training is far more important than what loads or how many shots you have. Properly aimed and fired, even one 12-gauge round of birdshot is going to take someone down.

I keep some #4 buck for my doubles if I should need it (normal SD/HD firearm is a .38Spl). Two rounds of that (and thousands of rounds practice at the traprange), and I have little fear that it's plenty.

The Super Bowl is on next week, and I expect that will give me more heartburn from snacks,

http://southernfood.about.com/cs/holidayrecipes/a/superbowl.htm

(or laughs, if the Budweiser commercials are good) than worrying about shotguns and ammo for HD.

classic095
January 25, 2008, 10:37 AM
If you need more than one shot, you be in trouble..:D

craigcolorado
January 25, 2008, 05:50 PM
I seen a guy that was hit with #6 shot....God! Talk about scream'n! You would of thought he was gut shot the way he was reacting! I do believe it hurt like hell!!

You hit a person with #6 shot at 10 to 20 feet...well...he's gonna have some severe problems! Yeah...he'll bleed...BADLY!! Within 10 feetand well placed...I'm sure the M.E. would have another corpse to deal with.

ShootemDown
January 25, 2008, 06:08 PM
You hit a person with #6 shot at 10 to 20 feet...well...he's gonna have some severe problems! Yeah...he'll bleed...BADLY!! Within 10 feetand well placed...I'm sure the M.E. would have another corpse to deal with.

that is true if you shot me. the normal reasonable person.

but it wont stop some hopped up maniac bent on doing you harm. little pellets sprinkled on a hopped up, crazy, high, emotionally disturbed person just wont do...

I use 1oz slugs.

Inverness11
January 25, 2008, 06:28 PM
Relax, sit down and have a cold beer. Training is far more important than what loads or how many shots you have.

Thanks for the reality check! I'm just trying to decide between a dedicated defense gun with higher capacity or a new barrel for what I've got.

I think I'll take my 870, a couple hundred rounds of birdshot, and some silhouette targets to the farm when it warms up and work on proficiency rather than worry about capacity.

Besides, in most cases the bad guy will drop dead from a heart attack or stroke just from the sound of racking the slide, right? :D

craigcolorado
January 25, 2008, 10:46 PM
true about someone on PCB.....but....again, a well placed head shot....problem over with. I know....in the heat of the moment, things can go crazy and yes...it's better to simply stop the intruder. I'm just thinking if someone just burst in your home...I really don't think any of us will be able to react to this in time.

Hard choices...that's why I have my 4'' barreled 357 mag within arms reach while in bed....sometimes even while sitting in the living room. Just the way it is folks.

ibfestus
January 26, 2008, 12:10 AM
that had been shot at about 10 feet with bird shot from a sawed off 20 gauge. Half her head was gone. She was dead before the BG could pump another round. I also saw a deer shot at 40 yards with #4 Buck. All 28 buckshot were in a 10 inch circle and at least half exited on the other side.

I keep my 870 behind a curtain within reach from the bed and it is loaded with 1 #6 bird shot and 3 #4, 3 inch mag buck. This is a recent change, I used to load up with slugs all the way until I had a early morning encounter with an attack raccoon. That sucker was hard to hit when he was moving!:eek::eek:

Tamara
January 26, 2008, 07:58 AM
I also saw a deer shot at 40 yards with #4 Buck. All 28 buckshot were in a 10 inch circle and at least half exited on the other side.

Getting over 12" of penetration in living tissue with #4 buck at 40 yards? Color me skeptical.

castnblast
January 26, 2008, 09:49 AM
I'd go with bird shot too...ever seen what happens to a watermelon shot w/ #8 at say 3-5 yds? That's about the same thing it will do to a person. In addition, if you miss, the drywall will eventually slow the shot down enough to not endanger those in other rooms. Buck shot has a lot more inertia behind the pellets, and will take something a little more substantial to stop it, which may injure someone you don't want to injure.

UniversalFrost
January 26, 2008, 11:28 PM
4 shots is plenty. with an 18.5 to 24" barrel and a folding buttstock or pistol grip and you are good to go. I prefer 0 Buck, but 00 is fine as well. Heck you could use no 9 shot in a house and have devastating results on the attacker.

GATMOG
January 27, 2008, 02:20 AM
4 rounds is plenty in my oppinion..

Personally, I keep 4 rounds of #7 bird in the tube because I have family in the house... But if needed, the butcuff has 2 rounds of magnum 00 buck, 2 rounds of 1oz slugs, and another round of bird.

m24shooter
January 27, 2008, 10:27 AM
This is going to sound a little crazy, but here's how I see it.
If I am in the circumstance of being able to say "Boy, I had three or six more shots than I needed" after a gun fight, that is a hell of a lot better than somebody ELSE saying "Boy, if only M24shooter had three more rounds in his shotgun."
Not even going to touch the whole birdshot issue or using escalating levels of lethality in a mag tube.

Double Naught Spy
January 27, 2008, 01:42 PM
true about someone on PCB.....

Yep, I worry about people being on coolants and additives to PVC. After all, PCB can be extremely toxic (Polychlorinated biphenyls). Now, PCP, that is a whole other ballgame...

4 rounds is plenty in my oppinion..

Personally, I keep 4 rounds of #7 bird in the tube because I have family in the house... But if needed, the butcuff has 2 rounds of magnum 00 buck, 2 rounds of 1oz slugs, and another round of bird.

Wow, 4 rounds is plenty, but you have 5 additional rounds carried on board? So maybe you don't really think 4 rounds is actually plenty?

I'd go with bird shot too...ever seen what happens to a watermelon shot w/ #8 at say 3-5 yds? That's about the same thing it will do to a person.

Well birdshot may stop a watermelon and it does some impressive damage to a watermelon, but people are not watermelons and bird shot does not do the same thing to a person as it does to a watermelon. Unless it is a contact shot, a person isn't going to explode when hit by bird shot and it only happens with contact or very near contact shots when a large volume of gas is injected from the muzzle into the body. You can blow a watermelon into chunks with a single shot from 10 yards. That doesn't happen to people at all.

UniversalFrost
January 27, 2008, 01:50 PM
Well birdshot may stop a watermelon and it does some impressive damage to a watermelon, but people are not watermelons and bird shot does not do the same thing to a person as it does to a watermelon. Unless it is a contact shot, a person isn't going to explode when hit by bird shot and it only happens with contact or very near contact shots when a large volume of gas is injected from the muzzle into the body. You can blow a watermelon into chunks with a single shot from 10 yards. That doesn't happen to people at all.

No, birdshot may not be lethal at close range, but if i got hit with a round of birshot at 5-10 yards I sure wouldn't be thinking of staying around for another round. plus it is non lethal and you don't have to worry about it penetrating through walls and any other folks on the other side of walls.

JOE

m24shooter
January 27, 2008, 01:59 PM
But we are not talking about shooting YOU. YOU are probably sober, rational, invested in normal living, and deterred by the thought of criminal penalties. Not to mention understanding that a GSW can really mess up your day.
The person who is likely to be shot in the circumstances described (an HD/SD situation) is not like most people if any on this board.
They tend to not think along the same lines. They make poor decisions (there is a reason they are criminals). They are frequently chemically altered. They tend to not make rational decisions. They have already decided to separate for normal civilized rules by intruding into your home or otherwise crossing a line so that deadly force is authorized. The frequently think they are smarter/faster/tougher/more hard-core than others.
Just because YOU would be stopped/deterred/run away doesn't mean one of them would.
As for it being non-lethal, it is definitely not. It can be lethal. That by no means makes it ideal for use in HD/SD settings. A sharp stick is lethal. But I'm not using one unless I have to.
And anything that is going to be a reliable fight-stopper, meaning enough penetration to be able to cause rapid exsanguination or severe damage and destruction to the CNS is going to penetrate barriers to some extent.

Bill DeShivs
January 27, 2008, 02:14 PM
MOST criminals are not irrational meth or PCP addicts. VERY few would keep coming if they thought they would be shot. MOST are sneaky, cowardly idiots- and are not bent on killing you at all cost. They want to steal your stuff, and some are willing to kill you in the process.

m24shooter
January 27, 2008, 02:22 PM
Understood.
But as long as you want to play the odds, you've already departed the statistical norm by being in a shooting situation. Somebody said if you need more than one shot, you're in trouble. Well, if you need any shots you're in trouble.
I've seen enough of them that weren't deterred to not care about the level of determination of anybody that places me in that position. I'll assume the worst on their part, and hopefully be prepared for it.
In my determination, its not the odds, its the stakes.

allentbader
January 27, 2008, 05:39 PM
You find a BG in your home who isn’t deterred by the initial rattach-attacht of a pump shotgun.... consider yourself in serious trouble.

4 rounds or 40, make the first one count.

Perldog007
January 27, 2008, 06:28 PM
I keep three in my mossy. Also keep the odd pistol and revolver or two handy.

I don't think I need to carry a gun at all times around the house, but have made it a habit to do so. That way if the need ever arises (bad storm with lack of basic services and accompanying lawlessness) I don't have to learn a new drill at the worst possible time.

I don't think I will ever need a shotgun for defense, but keep one with empty chamber and three in the magazine just in case I thought wrong.

crowbeaner
January 27, 2008, 06:41 PM
If the SOUND of a pump shotgun being cycled doesn't stop the advance of the BG, then shoot. 4 rounds might be enogh if you make the first one count. Just be aware that over penetration at close range is definitely in the realm of possibility though. CB.

alienhunter3
January 31, 2008, 10:16 PM
I agree with allentbader. I saw this question on another forum. Pretty much my favorite answer was that if you need more than 5 rounds of buckshot, you're pretty much screwed. If someone is determined enough, or drugged up enough, or well equipped enough, they'll keep coming when they should be incapacitated. When planning for this scenario, you have to balance the extreme off-chance that you'll have trained mercenaries with body armor coming after you against the possibility of killing your neighbors (or your family) through a wall with whatever you decide to come up with to stop those theoretical bad guys. With that said, I have to think that practice will count for a lot more than type or amount of ammunition. Anyways, that's just the opinion of a relative youngster. Cheers :)

rocinante
February 1, 2008, 06:40 AM
These threads are always fun. Is 4 rounds of 00 buck enough for home defense? At the best you have the outside chance of neutralizing four assailants. I just love euphemisms. I would tend to think in a home 4 rounds of 00 buck would suffice. You will have to aim no if ands or buts.

As far as accessibility and safety it is a tough one on a tube fed shotgun. I have a small keypad safe that I keep a loaded and ready pistol and loaded magazines for my saiga 12. The shotgun sits next to it with the bolt already open ready for a ten shell magazine. Thats about as fast and quick access as I can be comfortable with two boys 8 and 11 in the house and all their hoodlum friends. If they got hold of a single shell they could load it but that is unlikely.

predator86
February 1, 2008, 07:31 AM
for those of you who are suggesting to use birdshot i highly recomend that you check out this website- www.theboxotruth.com




he finds out through testing that for home defense you want buckshot, the only situation where i would recomend birdshot is if you are being attacked by a flock of pigeons.....

Nnobby45
February 3, 2008, 11:38 PM
Four rounds is enough--unless you need five.:cool:

The average is only 1 or 2, you say?. Yes, but averages aren't always covered by specific incidents which consider the extremes to get the average.

If usually enough is the criteria, then 4 rds would be fine. A veteran of such lethal encounters once said that filling the air with lead as soon as possible is most important. I assume he meant the air in front of Bubba before the miscreant took 9 00 buck.